UT Study: Uninsured Children On Rise

A University of Tennessee reports shows more children and adults in the state are uninsured as 2019 draws to a close. The number of uninsured children is up a half point over last year, at 2.8 percent. The rate of uninsured adults rose only slightly, by one-tenth of a percent, to 8.1 percent. Overall, the number of uninsured persons in Tennessee has increased from 2018 until 2019 by about 16,500 persons, to a total of 468,000 persons.

Although the increases are small, the report notes that this is the third straight year that the rate and number of uninsured Tennesseans has increased. The cost of insurance coverage is cited by about 80 percent of respondents as the reason they do not have health coverage.

Over 90 percent of all households and TennCare households first sought care for themselves and their children at a doctor’s office or clinic, but the results indicate a small increase in the share of children first treated at a hospital. TennCare recipients continue to report seeing doctors on a more frequent basis than the average Tennessee household.

Overall, TennCare continues to receive positive feedback from its recipients, with 94 percent reporting satisfaction with the program. This positive feedback is a strong indication that TennCare is providing

satisfactory medical care and meeting the expectations of those it serves.